Resolve to Be More Involved Locally

Resolve to Be More Involved Locally

Kiraly_webBy Village Manager Phil Kiraly

Should you be a bit behind on finalizing your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 (I know I am), I encourage you to consider adding “get more involved in the Glencoe community” to your list.  

Some of the simplest ways to get involved include learning about what’s going on in your Village. Did you know Glencoe’s Plan Commission has been a part of the community for over 90 years and considers such issues as property subdivisions and downtown planning and development, among many other responsibilities? The Village’s Sustainability Task Force has been making steady progress developing and implementing community-wide sustainability efforts. Our Community Relations Forum championed the Village’s Inclusive Community Pledge in 2017 and is working to engage the community in more Village-wide efforts.

Each of these commissions’ meetings, and others including the Zoning Board of Appeals and Historic Preservation Commission, are open to the public and residents are always encouraged to attend, comment and share input on the issues being considered and discussed. Agendas, minutes and other information is posted online here. Of course, residents are always welcome to attend a Village Board meeting or attend an informal Coffee with the Board event (2018 schedule is coming soon) to engage with the Village President and Board of Trustees. If you’re ready to commit to more, consider applying to volunteer on a Village Commission or Task Force.

 Not able to attend a meeting? Stay engaged and involved by reading and sharing with friends the information on the Village’s social media outlets (including Facebook, Twitter, and NextDoor), or the information provided in our beautiful new community newsletter, Inside Glencoe

If you haven’t done so, a really great resolution is to log on to the Village’s website and make sure that your contact information on GlencoeConnect is up to date and accurate, with cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other contact information for everyone in your household. This helps the Village spread the word in emergency situations or when we need to get info to you quickly. 

I know I don’t need to tell you this, but your involvement in your community matters. As decisions are considered, information from our residents is a significant component of the deliberations. Your opinions matter, and we are grateful to those of you that take the time to respond to our surveys, requests for information and other communications.

To get a bit more philosophical, something that has become ever-the-more apparent in recent years is that real, meaningful change in our society is more likely to start at the local level and such efforts are more likely to succeed when a broader network of stakeholders is engaged at all levels of the process. One scholar of city governance recently explained:

“Power is shifting downward from the nation-state to metropolitan areas; horizontally from governments to networks of public, private, and civic actors; and globally along circuits of capital, trade, and innovation.”[1]

What this means for local government managers like myself is that as we seek to solve local issues, we must rely more and more on networks that cross sectors, engaging public organizations, private entities and civic leaders. What this means for our residents is that, more than ever, when you engage in these networks and participate as a civic leader you can wield the power to tackle some of our community’s and society’s biggest issues. Put more simply: It’s important that your voice be part of the discussion – it truly does make a difference!

 Thank you for considering to resolve to get more involved – we hope to engage with you in 2018!

[1] "Envisioning the New Localism," by Bruce Katz, Public Management Magazine, January/February 2018